TASTE, Chandler’s Culinary Festival comes to downtown Ocotillo on Sat. October 19th.

TASTE chandler
The southeast valley will get a TASTE of over 24 restaurants on the evening of Saturday, October 19th as TASTE Chandler’s Culinary Festival comes to a new location in the Ocotillo part of town. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at 2855 W. Queen Creek Rd.

Attendees will have unlimited food tastings (while supplies last), 12 drink tickets for wine, craft beers and cocktails and couples who purchase their tickets before the event ($130) will receive a gift bag that includes 2 wine glasses and a bottle of wine. Pre-sale tickets are $65 and day off are $80. Patrons can also vote for their favorite participants in several categories.

This years festival will also honor Geoffrey Hancock, owner of San Tan Sun News and long time supporter of TASTE, Chandler’s Culinary Festival.

This is an 21 and over event and tickets can be purchased at www.tastechandler.com

Eat Valley restaurants participating…..
Bourbon Jacks
Coach & Willies
D’Vine Wine Bar
El Palacio Restaurant & Cantina of Chandler
Gigi Cupcakes
Grimaldi’s Pizzeria
Humble Pie
Latitude Eight Thai Grill
Le Cordon Bleu
My Big Fat Greek Restaurant
Nando’s Mexican Food
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Otuku Sushi
Pearl Sushi
Pitta Souvli
Pittsburgh Willy’s
Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion
SanTan Brewing Company
The Keg
The Living Room
The Sushi Room
Udder Delights
Vintage 95
Whole Foods
Yoli’s Café

…and more to come!

Save the date: Saturday October 5th for Zoowalk for Autism research.

ZooWalk Walk

Saturday October 5th is the date for the 9th Annual Zookwalk at The Phoenix Zoo benefiting Arizona State University’s Autism/ Aspeger’s Research Program. The event starts at 6:30 a.m. with registration and walk to immediately follow your registering. Registration concludes at 8:30 a.m. with the walk expected to end at 9 a.m.

Adults are $25 and a t-shirt is included,teens are $15 and kids under 12 are free. All day admission to the zoo is included with a wristband you will be given. Last year had about 3,500 walkers raising over $100,000 cash and over $200,000 in donations from medical testing and nutritional supplements. This years goal is to raise money for 1 year multi-treatment study for children and adults with Autism.

You can find more information and sign up at www.zoowalk.org The Phoenix Zoo is located at 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix 85008 (480)273-1341.


Mark your calendar: 6th annual Oktoberfest festival with SanTan Brewing on Saturday, Oktober 5th 2013.

san tan octoberfestDowntown Chandler becomes Munich, Germany on Saturday Oktober 5th as Basha’s and SanTan Brewing Company celebrate Okoberfest with beer gardens, food, live music and more. Starting at 4:00 p.m. with Bad Cactus Brass Band taking the stage and continuing til 12 midnight attendees will be entertained with tricycle riding, German food, beer games and a Brat eating contest along with atradidional beer garden serving SanTan Brewing’s Oktoberfest brew, a German style lager, along with other seasonal & core SanTan brews.
santan oktoberfest
The over 200 year German tradition Oktoberfest celebrates the Bavarian culture with beer and food.

Other bands performing include…
7-7:45 p.m. Versions of You
7:45-8:30 p.m. Good Rust
8:30-9:15 p.m. 80 Proof
9:30 p.m. The Expendables

This annual event will be held across the street from SanTan Brewing at Dr. A.J. Chandler park at 3 S. Arizona Ave. Chandler.

Tickets are available for $10 at SanTan Brewing or online www.santanoktoberfest.com or for $8 at all Basha’s Phoenix area locations.

“The Pinkest Party in Scottsdale” benefiting the Arizona Institute for Breast Health is this Tuesday, Sept. 10th at The Herb Box Southbridge

In an effort to raise money for women with breast cancer, local non-profit Arizona Institute for Breast Health is throwing the “Pinkest Party in Scottsdale” this Tuesday, Sept. 10th from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Herb Box’s Southbridge location. Tickets are $25 and available at www.AIBH.org or $35 at the door.

“For us, the breast cancer fight is a personal one. We’ve all been touched by the disease, but Jennifer Velazquez, our general manager, is now two years breast cancer-free and eager to join in the local fight for her fellow survivors,” said The Herb Box co-owner Susan Smederovac-Wilcox, noting 100% of tickets sales are going directly to AIBH.

Attendees are encouraged to wear pink clothing with prizes given to the pinkest party goers. Those in attendance will have small bites to taste along with pink cocktails to sip on and delicious pink pastries created by the Herb Box’s chefs. Music, raffles and other surprises are in store for the event. Party goers will also be able to purchase pink light bulbs to be placed on the Marshall Way bridge and helping to create a Pink Light district to be lit up starting on Oct. 3rd for the month to coincide with October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

October is when the Herb Box will feature PINK drinks and menu items on a special “Pink Menu” with part of the proceeds donated to AIBH.

“AIBH was formed with one singular focus – to offer Arizona women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer a second opinion about their treatment options, completely free of charge,” said Christine Fenwick, executive director of AIBH and a 17-year breast cancer survivor. “AIBH has a 12-member volunteer team of physicians and medical professionals whose specialties include breast radiology, breast surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, reconstructive surgery, and breast pathology. This team evaluates the best medical and surgical options for the preservation of a woman’s life, body and emotional well-being, as well as the continued quality of her life.”

To date, AIBH has worked with thousands of women and their families – and not only to provide second opinions. In fact, they also provide free support, resources, fitness and nutrition advice and more. For tickets or more information or to purchase tickets today, please visit www.aibh.org.

The Herb Box Southbridge is at 7134 E. Stetson Dr. Scottsdale 85251.

Photo: Arizona Restaurant Week preview.

Arizona Restaurant Week www.ArizonaRestaurantWeek.com returns Saturday September 21st – Sunday the 29th, 2013 and I recently was invited to preview some new restaurants along with some long time favorites and a few dishes of what they’ll be serving that week. If a picture is worth a 1,000 words then the following pictures are worth……

Pig & Pickle 2922 N. Hayden Rd. (at Thomas Rd.) Scottsdale, 85251 (480)990-1407 www.pigandpickle.com
Sapporo 14334 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, 85254 (480)607-1114 www.sapporoscottsdale.com
Virtu 3701 N. Marshall Way Scottsdale, 85251 (480)946-3477 www.virtuscottsdale.com
Roaring Fork 4800 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, 85251 (480)947-0795 www.RoaringFork.com

Virtu's Roasted Beet salad
Virtu’s Roasted Beet salad

Sapporo's Blue Jumbo Crab Cake w/ Grilled Corn & Cucumber Salsa
Sapporo’s Blue Jumbo Crab Cake w/ Grilled Corn & Cucumber Salsa

Virtu Starter Kit- Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Plymouth Gin, Grapefruit Bitters, Bitter Lemon Soda
Virtu Starter Kit- Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Plymouth Gin, Grapefruit Bitters, Bitter Lemon Soda

Pig & Pickle
Pig & Pickle

Pig & Pickle's Braised Duck leg on Kool wild rice & quinoa
Pig & Pickle’s Braised Duck leg on Kool wild rice & quinoa

Sapporo's Cougar Roll
Sapporo’s Cougar Roll

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Truffle Parmigiano Reggiano Polenta
Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Truffle Parmigiano Reggiano Polenta

The Roaring Fork's White Chocolate Oreo Pie & Heath Bar Bark
The Roaring Fork’s White Chocolate Oreo Pie & Heath Bar Bark

Chandler AZ based Nuthwhats expands product line & retail availability.

Started back in 1999 by Lisa and Jim Rast, Nutwhats produces a line of sweet snacks that includes brittle called Britty & Scribble and the recently launched line of chocolates called “Bean to Bar” sourced from all over the world and are made from at least 75% Cacao. The beans are imported and the bars are made by hand in their commercial kitchen. “The Bean to Bar Chocolates are great for baking brownies, cookies or muffins and make incredibly decadent s’mores,” said Lisa Rast.

2 new brittle combinations are available too, Salted Almond Scribble and Green Chili Beer Britty if you need some spice in your life. In addition to being available online at www.nutwhats.com the sweets can now be found in AJ’s Fine Foods around the valley. The gourmet grocer will be selling 8 Nutwhats flavors including the 2 new flavors at $10.99 for the Salted Almond Scribble and $8.99 for Green Chili Beer Britty. “Our fans have asked us for years to expand our distribution and this partnership with AJ’s allows us to offer our hand-crafted products to more hungry Arizonans who are seeking an uncommon yet very satisfying treat,” said Rast.

In addidition to AJ’s, Nutwhats can be found at Bodega in Scottsdale, Phoenix Public Market and Smeeks in Phoenix and Doz Cabezas Wineworks in the southern Arizona wine country. The new Bean to Bar chocolates can be found at the Nutwhats booth at the Gilbert Farmers Market and Old Town Farmers Market in Scottsdale along with their other sweets.